REACH: continuing to trade in the EU and UK after the Brexit transition period ends

REACH: continuing to trade in the EU and UK after the Brexit transition period ends

REACH: continuing to trade in the EU and UK now the transition period has ended

British REACH registration holders who have not yet transferred their registration to an EU legal entity need to act now. 


The Brexit transition period ended on 31 December 2020, 23:00 GMT/24:00 CET at which point UK REACH was brought into UK law. UK REACH is a replication of EU REACH, applicable only to Great Britain (GB), with some changes to make it suitable for its market. 

This means that there are two different ‘REACH’ regulations that organisations wanting to trade across Europe need to consider. 

UK REACH regulates access to the GB market (England, Wales and Scotland) and EU REACH for EU27, EEA and Northern Ireland, and they will operate independently of each other.  Under the Northern Ireland protocol, the EU REACH Regulation will continue to apply to Northern Ireland after the transition period ends.

Below we have broken down what your organisation needs to do to comply with UK and EU REACH.

 

UK REACH – organisations who want to import into, and place products on the market within England, Wales or Scotland

GB based registration holder
If you are a registration holder based in England, Wales or Scotland, and wish to continue trading on the GB market, your EU REACH registration will still be legally recognised at the end of the transition period, through a process known as ‘grandfathering’. However, you will be required to: 

  • Supply information to the UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) within 120 days from the end of the transition period (see HSE guidance here).
  • Provide technical information to complete a full UK REACH registration within 300 days, plus 2, 4 or 6 years (depending on tonnage and/or hazard profile) of the end of the transition period.

There is currently no charge levied by the HSE associated with the grandfathering process.

EU27, EEA or Northern Ireland based registration holder
If you are a registration holder based in EU27, EEA or Northern Ireland, and want to continue import into, or putting products on the market within, the GB market, you will need to register under UK REACH with a GB based legal entity. You can either use your own GB legal entity if you have one, request your GB based customer(s) act as a GB based importer and complete the UK REACH registration themselves, or you can use a GB based Only Representative (OR) such as NCEC.

Registration by a GB based importer

  • If your GB based customer agrees to act as GB based importer then they may be able to take advantage of the transitional notification system. This will allow them 300 days to complete a notification (from the end of the transition period), followed by a full UK REACH registration within 2, 4 or 6 years (deadline depends on tonnage and/or hazard profile).

Registration by a GB based OR

  • If completed prior to the end of the transition period, you may transfer your EU REACH registration to a GB based OR. These will then be grandfathered into UK REACH.
  • If completed after the end of the transition period, you will need to:
    • Register with UK REACH through a GB based OR; or,
    • Register with UK REACH through an affiliate GB importer (which could then supply your GB customers). 

EU REACH – organisations who want to import products into, or put on the market within, EU27, EEA or Northern Ireland.

GB based registration holder
If you are a registration holder based in England, Wales or Scotland, and wish to continue trading on the EU market (EU27, EEA or Northern Ireland), you will need to transfer your registration to an EU legal entity (EU27, EEA or Northern Ireland). This can be:

  • Your own EU based legal entity.
  • A manufacturer or importer of the chemical.
  • An Only Representative (OR) such as NCEC.

This transfer must be completed prior to the end of the transition period, 31 December 2020, 23:00 GMT/24:00 CET. 

After this point, GB based organisations will no longer have access to your REACH registrations in REACH-IT. At the end of the transition period, the EU legal entity you have transferred to will have until 31 March 2021 to accept the transfer. 

This is a critical step for GB based organisations as NCEC are aware that many GB based organisations trading within the EU have not yet transferred their registrations to an EU based legal entity. This means that come the end of December 2020, their registrations will be null and void, and those products can no longer be legally placed on the market in the EU. GB based EU REACH registration holders (either their own or through a GB based OR) need to urgently consider how they will maintain business continuity in Europe. NCEC can swiftly transfer notifications to our own EU based OR to help these organisations continue trading. 

Please note: ECHA will be closed between 24 December 2020 and 4 January 2021 and state they will guarantee timely support until 15 December 2020.  NCEC’s regulatory team will be continuing to support our customers throughout this critical time.   

EU27, EEA or Northern Ireland based registration holder

All EU REACH registrations through a European legal entity will continue to be valid across the EU27, EEA and Northern Ireland.


Why use NCEC?

  • NCEC, as part of Ricardo, a multinational company, have legal entities already in place across Europe (and the world) and are ready to act as an EU OR from a REACH perspective from our Netherlands entity. We have helped many companies understand the implications of REACH on their business, and already have transitioned organisations to our EU legal entity to maintain their business continuity.
 
  • NCEC can also act as a UK OR on behalf of European organisations wanting to trade in GB, including first-time UK REACH registrants. We are well placed to support organisations complete their notifications, prepare full registrations, and provide ongoing help and support throughout the process.
 
  • NCEC’s expert SDS authoring team can assist with all your SDS requirements – from compliance reviews and product classification to regional regulatory template set-up and translation services (in over 40 languages). 
 
  • Our principal consultants Chris Hughes and Caroline Raine are members of working groups in ECHA, HSE, BEIS and Defra and have significant experience of all aspects of REACH, including working through authorisation requirements and dossier reviews.